Funeral provider Safe Hands collapses, jeopardizing 45,000 customer plans

After FRP Advisory was commissioned to process the insolvency, the funeral service provider Safe Hands no longer accepts direct debit or standing order payments – and can no longer take on new customers

The funeral sector is said to be regulated by the FCA
The funeral sector is said to be regulated by the FCA

the burial Agreements from more than 45,000 customers were left in doubt after prepaid tariff providers Safe hands fell into administration.

The funeral home will no longer accept direct debit or standing order payments after FRP Advisory has been appointed to oversee the bankruptcy proceedings.

It will also no longer be able to accept new customers.

Administrators said the company was “unviable” in its current form after a “period of severe financial challenges”.

A statement on the Safe Hands website said his financial difficulties “are understood to be related to the Covid-19 Pandemic”.

Nedim Ailyan, Partner at FRP and co-manager of Safe Hands, has announced that publicly traded funeral home Dignity has signed an agreement to offer funeral planning services to existing customers for a period of 14 days.

Safe Hands said it held discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before engaging administrators. It withdrew its FCA application in February 2022.

From July 2022, new FCA rules regulating the funeral plans market will come into effect.

Have you booked a funeral with Safe Hands? Let us know:

The measures will force companies to ensure plans are sold fairly, perform as expected and offer good value for money.

Mr Ailyan added: “As joint administrators, we have been appointed by the court and will conduct a detailed statutory investigation into the financial condition of the company and the events leading up to the bankruptcy.

“This will assist our work as we make progress in liquidating the Company’s assets to provide creditors with reflows.

“Unfortunately, administration means the company is currently unable to issue refunds.

“We recognize how troubling this time of uncertainty will be for Safe Hands Plans clients and their families.”

Administrators said they will be contacting all plan owners and their personal representatives to outline the procedure for registering claims.

However, the Safe Hands website states: “It is uncertain whether the funeral plans can be fulfilled”.

“A short-term solution has been offered by Dignity for a period of 14 days, however this is only a temporary measure to give the joint administrators time to consider options for a potential longer-term solution,” the statement continued.

“However, all plan holders should consider their funeral plan with the company terminated with immediate effect.

“This includes funeral plans that have been partially paid for and funeral plans that have been processed.”

Customers will need to contact admins for a refund, but it’s unclear how much money could be reclaimed at this point.

“Administrators are currently unable to confirm any potential estimated rate of return for plan holders,” the website’s statement said.

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Fry Electronics Team

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